Ben O’Connor bows out on a high as Cork’s loss is Munster’s gain

Victory over Offaly completed a minor and U20 double for the talented St Finbarr’s defender

Cork prospect Ben O’Connor has played his final game of hurling as he turns his attention to a rugby career.

The Rebel centre back bowed out on a high with an All-Ireland U20 medal as he revealed Sunday’s final at Semple Stadium against Offaly would be his last game.

He has long been linked with joining the Munster Academy, having won the Munster Schools Senior Cup with Presentation Brothers College, Cork, and represented the Ireland U19s.

“I’m after deciding I’m going with the rugby so this was my last hurling game,” said the Leaving Cert student.


“I was delighted to finish on a high now. They’re all my best friends and you couldn’t have asked for a better group to finish with. I’m absolutely buzzing, on top of the world.”

O’Connor also captained Cork to the All-Ireland minor hurling title in 2021 and helped St Finbarr’s to a first Cork senior hurling crown in 29 years last autumn.

He reflected that choosing between the two sports wasn’t easy.

“It was a very tough decision but I was happy with my decision in the end.”

His manager Ben O’Connor hopes that his namesake may return to hurling down the line.

“You’d never know. After seeing that today and enjoying that so much, he can always come back to the hurling after. I don’t think he’ll get too many thrills as good as that playing rugby or soccer or anything else.”